Nuts about Cambodia . . .

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2011 at 7:41 am

First, the Stockdales would like to wish everyone a belated ‘Happy 4th of July’.  We didn’t forget the most important holiday celebrated in the entire world, we were just in Cambodia.  Sorry.

Specifically, we went to Siem Reap, Cambodia.  This the place with all the temple ruins that you may or may not have seen on television.  Parts of the movie ‘Tomb Raider’ were filmed at one of the temples we visited.  Or, if you have ever seen the Mayan ruins, these are just an Asian version of that.  The best way to sum up Siem Reap in a standard American vacation context would be visiting the Grand Canyon.

So, what is the first thing you get to do when you get to Cambodia?  If you guessed ‘discover the big little Stockdale has a nut allergy’ grab yourself a tote bag!  After we got to our hotel the little Stockdales wanted to walk around downtown Siem Reap, so we did.  They also requested ice cream and since they had been reasonably well-behaved on the plane, Mrs. Stockdale and I acquiesced.  For obvious reasons we chose an establishment that served both ice cream and alcohol.  The big little Stockdale’s sundae came with a fancy cookie/biscuit thing.  A few minutes after her first bite of the fancy cookie/biscuit thing these dots started appearing on her chin, then she complained about a tingling in her throat, then the dots got bigger, then I took her back to the hotel, then I gave her half a Benadryl, then we went back to the restaurant to get the others, then on the way back to the hotel she threw-up on the sidewalk in front of a street vendor, then I carried her back to our room, then she started getting itchy all over, then she wanted a bath to get rid of the itchiness, then she stood up and her pupils dilated and she said she couldn’t see, then Mrs. Stockdale went to the front desk to get a doctor, then she threw up all over the floor of the hotel room, then the doctor arrived and did all the standard tests, then the doctor gave her some Zyrtec and a steroid and said she was fine and that we should have her tested when we get back to Singapore, then Mrs. Stockdale had to go to the ATM because even in Cambodia calling a doctor to a hotel room is expensive, then the big little Stockdale was fine and our vacation continued.

 ( We’ll take her to the doctor this week and we’ll probably need to be careful from here on out, but she is 100% fine.  She’s never been a big nut eater, although we know she has had peanut butter and various other nuts at various other times in her life.  Again, she is fine and it wouldn’t be a proper Stockdale vacation without some type of medical emergency. )

The first temple we saw was Angkor Wat.  This is the most famous of all the temples and is pictured on the Cambodian flag.

The thing is just absolutely ginormous and was built about a thousand years ago ( that’s metric for a long time ).

Imagine that if instead of the Colorado river having created the Grand Canyon over millions of years, King Somebody XII gave 50,000 people each a teaspoon and told them to start digging.  That’s the scale of this thing and the surrounding temples.  But, just as amazing as the temple, it was just as cool to see a monk with a cell phone.  ( If you look really close, its pink! )

Or, how easy it is to move a mattress with a moped.

The entire temple is at least a kilometer ( metric for almost a mile ) by a kilometer ( metric for almost a mile ) and is filled with halls and statues and pits and rocks.  It also has a hundred meter ( metric for a yard ) wide moat dug by hand around the entire perimeter ( metric for outside ).

Almost every wall had some kind of picture carved into it that depicted something historically significant.

And, did I mention all the statues?

Luckily we had our guide Rin Nom to tell us all the important historical facts.

The little Stockdales had a great time climbing on all the rocks and posing for pictures.

It was hot, even by Singapore standards.  Thankfully, Rin Nom had brought umbrellas and nothing is as fun for a group of girls than running around unstable ruble with umbrellas, constantly opening and closing them, and never watching where they are going and bumping into folks from various countries.

It didn’t take long for the middle little Stockdale to fully absorb the Zen.

Soon, the other little Stockdales were in touch with their inner Buddhas.

After the first temple, we saw another . . .

And another . . .

And another  . . .

And another . . .

And another . . .

And another . . .

And another . . .

And then we saw some wildlife . . .

And some more wildlife . . .

And another temple . . .

And, I’m pretty sure there were some more temples.  Probably.  Maybe.  But, just as much fun as the temples were for us to see, the Stockdales were just as much of a hit with the Asian tourists.  For every picture I took of a temple, somebody wanted a picture of the little Stockdales.

After a couple long hard days staring at one easily identifiable and different pile of rocks and understanding the historical significance of that crumbling pile of rocks when compared with a completely separate and discernible pile of rocks, Mrs. Stockdale and the little Stockdales demanded a reward.

As did I.

Even though we really didn’t require a break from seeing giant crumbling pile of rocks after giant crumbling pile of rocks, we decided to take a boat ride late one afternoon.  In all seriousness, this was my favorite part of the trip.  It was a chance to see the real Cambodia.  To see how people really live in a place that isn’t cluttered with Best Buys or Starbucks or roads.  Although, it’s easy to look at these pictures and see folks living on dilapidated old boats where you aren’t quite sure how they stay afloat, of all the folks we saw in Cambodia, these people were without a doubt the happiest.  They ignored us as we went by.  The Stockdales were one of thousands of tourists that paid to take a boat through the center of their floating village.  Instead, they just went about their daily business as we got to watch.

Overall, this was a great trip.  We had done the beach thing for a couple of vacations and it was nice to have something different.  Yes, each hugmongous crumbling temple looked the same as all the others, but they were fascinating and beautiful.  Even with cranes and bulldozers and computers and lasers and robots and swiss army knives it would take us a decade, if not more, to build one of these things today.  To imagine that folks a thousand years ago did this by hand with simple tools is simply awe-inspiring.

  1. Ila wants to know what is cost to get a pedicure (sp) in Cambodia? Glad to see that Madison is okay. Please keep posted.

  2. Wow! What an amazing trip! Loved the pictures and, as always, your great sense of humor. Hope Big Little Stockdale is continuing to do well.

  3. This may have been your best post ever.

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